Tag: smoothie

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Sugar is everywhere. It’s not only in obvious places like our pastries and desserts, but it is also in our coffee, cereal, soup, even in salad dressings! And I’m talking about significant amounts of hidden sugar. Guess why food companies add so much sugar to foods? So they will taste really good and make you want more of course! It looks like it is working. And our health has never been so bad.

Most of us get much more sugar in our diets than we realize. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, the average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar per year, much of which is hidden in processed foods.

“I eat really well but I can’t give up sugar.” I hear this all of the time from clients. We all know that sugar is not a health food and that it can lead to diabetes and weight gain, but most of us don’t know all of the other ways that it can affect us. And keep in mind, processed flour (even whole wheat flour) has the same effect on the body as sugar so try and get your whole grains from less processed grains like quinoa or brown rice. Here are a few things that you might not know about sugar.

  • Sugar is toxic to the liver.
  • It causes inflammation in the body which is linked to all major diseases.
  • Sugar feeds cancer cells.
  • Sugar contributes to belly fat which is the most dangerous place to have excess weight.
  • Many experts now believe that it is the sugar, not the fat, that contributes to heart disease.
  • Sugar is highly addictive, maybe more so than cocaine! Therefore, it is very easy for people to over consume and not have control of their eating.
  • There are no nutrients whatsoever in sugar and it can strip your body of nutrients.
  • Sugar can damage your metabolism and weaken your immune system.

So you can see why it is important to kick sugar to the curb and swap it out for healthier alternatives. The cravings will go away.  And please don’t think it is wise to replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. They affect your health in many negative ways as well.

I’m not about deprivation. Not in the least. I like a sweet treat as much as the next person. There are so many delicious, healthy ways that you can eat a little something sweet without the sugar bomb! I make sure that what I’m eating regularly isn’t going to negatively impact my health. I choose things like a small piece of dark chocolate, a few dates with almond butter, a chocolate smoothie or a dessert that is sweetened with a small amount of a healthier natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.

Once you start switching to healthy sweeteners and naturally sweet foods like fruit, you’ll notice that you have fewer and fewer cravings for sugar. You’ll also find that you’re tasting the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables. Your taste buds really do change. Suddenly, the sweet foods that you used to enjoy start tasting too sweet.

Getting off of sugar will help you to ditch the afternoon energy crash, stabilize your blood sugar and create a more alkaline environment that your body will thrive in.

Try this chocolate smoothie when you crave something sweet. Or, make it for your kids after school and they will be so pumped!!

Chocolate Smoothie (makes 1 serving)

1 small frozen banana
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/4 cup raw cashews (optional but gives the smoothie more thickness and protein)
1 cup almond milk
1 cup ice
1 pitted date
1 teaspoon ground flax seeds or hemp seeds (optional)

Blend well and add a little more almond milk or water if needed for desired consistency.

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Happy Holidays! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I know I did! It’s now officially time to get geared up for Christmas. I get so excited about parties and dinners and spending time with friends and family. But, I also have a tiny bit of dread along with it. An overindulgence here and there does not bother me but a month of them can leave us all feeling very bloated, sluggish and guilty! I want to share some of my favorite tips for making it through the holidays without feeling terrible and still having a BLAST!

Start your mornings out first thing with a large glass of water. We are more likely to get dehydrated during the holidays so drink plenty all day as well. I like to drink warm or room temperature water with ½ lemon squeezed in and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. The lemon boosts your immune system, aids your digestion system and the cayenne gets your metabolism going. I recommend trying the lemon water but plain water is great too.

Make sure that you begin each day with a super healthy breakfast. This is important all of the time, but even more so during the holidays when you have temptations all around. If you have a donut or bagel or cereal, you are more likely to be cranky and tired and experience more cravings for the rest of the day. Try and choose a breakfast that has some healthy carbs (fruits and veggies count), high quality protein and a little healthy fat. It will keep you satisfied much longer. One great start is a delicious green smoothie or oatmeal with fruit and nuts. My favorite way to have oatmeal is to make overnight soaked oats because there is no cooking and you can make several at a time and they are ready for you in the morning. Some of my other favorite breakfasts are sprouted grain toast (which you can find in the freezer section of most grocery stores) with avocado and a fried egg on top or a brown rice cake with almond butter and sliced banana.

Soup soup soup!!! I love soup! Make a big batch of soup that is heavy on vegetables on Sunday or at the beginning of the week and eat it for lunch or dinner several more times that week. It is so easy to make, so delicious and can be extremely light and filling. If you eat veggie soup 3 nights for dinner and then drink eggnog martinis on Friday, you’ll feel much better about your choices. TRUST ME, I know from experience. Two of my favorites are Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and Quinoa Vegetable Soup. Did I mention how much I love soup?!!

Eat something substantial before you go to a party. I know you’ve heard this advice before but have you ever really tried it? It is awesome! You are probably in the mindset of not wanting to eat to save the calories but try looking at it a different way. Eat a big salad or veggie wrap or a bowl of soup before the party and then you will be much more content to have less party food because you are not starving. It really helps!

If you drink alcohol, try drinking one glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Talk about a dramatic difference in how much alcohol you drink AND how you feel the next morning. Remind yourself you are going to do it before you get to the party or you’ll get caught up in the moment and totally forget about it. Hmmmm I might have experienced that one too. Drinking in moderation is very important to your health but I know it is harder during this festive season!

Do not give up on your exercise routine just because you are busy and it is cold outside. Even a brisk 30 minute walk will do wonders for your mood and stress and will motivate you to make better choices for the rest of the day.

If you are craving something sweet at night because visions of sugar plums are dancing in your head, try a cup of hot herbal tea (decaf) while you are sitting by the Christmas tree. It is so satisfying and good for you. Make sure you choose an organic brand because tea and coffee are often heavily sprayed with pesticides. Having hot tea can help you wind down and sleep better. If you want a little sweet treat to go with it, try buying dates in the produce department, take the pit out of one and spread a little almond butter in it. Tastes like candy – soooo good! You can also use the dates to sweeten smoothies.

Another favorite night time drink of mine is called Teecino. It is an herbal tea that tastes a little like coffee. I brew a cup and then put it in the blender with a tablespoon of coconut oil and one teaspoon of honey. Blend for about 30 seconds, pour into a mug and top with cinnamon. I know the oil sounds weird but it doesn’t make the coffee oily at all. It just makes it creamy and frothy. Yummy! Contrary to what you may have heard about coconut oil, it is a healthy fat that helps keep you satiated. Some other benefits include helping to balance blood sugar and hormones and helps burn fat. Don’t be afraid of healthy fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, nut butters and avocados.

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Don’t just give up and set yourself up for failure over the holidays. Plan ahead and you will feel amazing. If you eat or drink too much one day, just get up the next day and start fresh. I hope you all have a blessed holiday season. Enjoy and stay safe!

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Well it is kinda green! When you blend together blueberries and kale, it sometimes turns out more brown than green but it is still delicious. There are so many variations for smoothies. I really like to change it up and use whatever I have on hand but this is the basic recipe that I use most often. This one is not too sweet and I love it that way but you might want to sweeten it up a bit more if you are new to green smoothies. Simply use a little more fruit (or less greens) or add a drizzle of honey or a pitted date. I feel so good when I start my day with something green!

Serves 2

1 frozen banana
1/4 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen*
1/4 cup raw walnuts or cashews
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)
1/2 organic cucumber with peel, roughly chopped*
2 large handfuls of organic spinach or kale*
1 cup milk of your choice (I use almond)
1 cup water
2 cups ice

Put all ingredients in blender and blend well. Add a little more water if needed.

*I recommend using as many organic ingredients as possible but these are the ones that I think are most important.

Notes:
-When your bananas get too ripe, peel then and store them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. I have some in my freezer at all times. They make smoothie sweet and creamy!

-If no one in your house is eating the second serving, just pour it into a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator for the next day. Shake well before drinking. Sometimes I put it back in the blender with a little more ice if I want it to be really cold and icy.

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© Copyright 2015 Krista Sigmon